Although not everyone has a seating plan at their wedding, most people do and after the ceremony it is normally the first call of the guests to examine the plan and see who they will enjoying their meal with. It has to be said that, although they are a bit of a headache for the bride and groom to organise, it probably does sidestep a bit of guest confusion in terms of letting them know exactly where they will be sitting. Some venues will provide a seating plan, table numbers and place cards for you but with a bit of creativity, you can really make them a feature of your wedding by tying them into your style and wedding theme.
Traditionally, seating plans are either a series of cards mounted on boards to represent the tables which feature the guests names or even a plan style layout of the room with the guest names printed at the appropriate seat. Although these are very functional, and I’ve seen some very pretty handmade ones, there are lots of other ideas that can make it more fun.
I like the USA idea of ‘escort cards’ – these are cards for each guest which features their name and table number. They are displayed somewhere (and how this is done is limited only by your imagination it would seem), the guests find their name and take their card to the table. What is even more lovely about this idea is that it makes it easy to combine your seating plan, place cards and even wedding favours into one item – I just love the thrifty and efficient nature of that! With brides and grooms these days working to tighter budgets and focusing on creating weddings with as little waste as possible, this seems like a really great alternative. I’ve seen all sorts of fabulous ideas that combine all these elements, ensure no item or no money is wasted – for example, seed packets printed with guests names and table numbers, luggage tags, after dinner chocolates with guests names and table numbers attached to a toothpick, the list is endless… You can buy commercially but lots of the ideas that I have seen would be really easy to DIY so, if you’re feeling time-pressed and not very creative, look amongst your guests and ask them to help – most people would be thrilled to be asked to contribute.
Table numbers are often thought of as simply functional items and can get overlooked in the planning stages but they are a great way for you to express your creativity and can be combined with or even form your centrepieces (there’s that thrifty efficiency again!). One of my favourite was a glass bell jar stuffed full of things relating to the table number, so dominoes, dice, glittered number cut outs etc – place the whole display on a mirror and add some flowers and tealights and your table number is also your centrepiece. Another lovely idea was to get pictures of you as a couple holding up table numbers or table names (something to incorporate into your engagement portrait session perhaps?) and print them onto simple cards – personalisation is one of the key wedding trends in 2013 and I think this is really good way to bring it to every table.
As I said, there are lots of ideas that would brilliant fun to explore and would really add some great creative, unique and personal touches to your wedding – I’ve gathered together some of my favourites into an inspiration board, just click on the link below and get inspired!